See and Do

Take a Ferry to Spectacle Island!

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, National Park Service, Boston Harbor Now, and Boston Harbor Cruises announced today that beginning on July 1, 2020, public ferry service to Spectacle Island, one of the 34 islands and peninsulas in Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park, will begin for the season. Public ferry service to other islands remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spectacle Island boasts some of the most magnificent vistas of the Boston skyline and is only a 20-minute ferry ride away from downtown Boston. With ferry services beginning for the summer season from Long Wharf, the island will be open and accessible to visitors. Safety measures including enhanced cleaning protocols on island and onboard the public ferry vessels have been instituted. Reduced ferry capacity, revised boarding procedures, touchless ticketing and instructional signage supporting physical distancing – will be in place in compliance with Governor Baker’s reopening plan. Facial coverings will be required while onboard the ferry and visitors are strongly encouraged to continue to wear their facial coverings while exploring the Island. 

Although the visitor center will remain closed, restrooms, hiking trails, the swimming beach, moorings, and the marina will be available for public use. Physical distancing and COVID-19 guidelines will remain in place while on the island and onboard the ferries.

“With physical distancing extending throughout the summer, public outdoor spaces like Spectacle Island are critical to the mental and physical health of our communities, and to keeping people feeling connected to each other and to nature,” said Kathy Abbott, President and CEO of Boston Harbor Now. “We look forward to a fantastic summer for visitors of all ages to safely experience and enjoy Boston Harbor and its islands.”

Michael Creasey, General Superintendent for National Parks of Boston, agreed, “As we navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on our daily lives, I am mindful of what a gift it is to live so close to the water’s edge where we have access to such an incredible system of island and peninsular parks.  Whether exploring peninsular parks on the south shore like Worlds End and Webb Memorial State Park, or taking the ferry from Long Wharf to Spectacle Island for 360 degree views of Boston Harbor, it’s outdoor, open air places like these and the experiences they offer that enliven our communities and contribute to our vitality and resilience.”

“Spectacle Island is one of the Commonwealth’s most exceptional natural resources and offers visitors with excellent opportunities to explore nature while traversing along its many trails,” said DCR Commissioner Jim Montgomery. “During these times, it is important that we all get outside and enjoy nature, but when visiting Spectacle Island, other state parks, or public places, please be safe by practicing social distancing and wearing a facial covering when necessary.”  

“More local residents are looking for outdoor leisure options closer to home this summer and we’re pleased to be able to give fans of the park and first-time visitors to The Boston Harbor Islands a chance to come aboard and explore the beauty and recreational opportunities of Spectacle Island this season,” notes Alison Nolan, General Manager of Boston Harbor Cruises.

Ferry service to Spectacle Island is provided by Boston Harbor Cruises. For more information on ferry schedules, pricing, and amenities, visit https://www.bostonharborislands.org/ or https://www.bostonharborcruises.com/harbor-islands/

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About the Author

Maureen Dahill

Maureen Dahill is the editor of Caught in Southie and Caught in Dot and a lifelong resident of South Boston sometimes mistaken for a yuppie. Hockey mom, yoga enthusiast, lover of red wine and binge watching TV series. Mrs. Peter G. Follow her @MaureenCaught.